Preparation of Epoxidized Palm Oil by using Performic Acid

  • Nurazira Mohd Nor Center for Advanced Materials and Renewable Resources, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Jumat Salimon Centre for Advanced Materials and Renewable Resources Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
Keywords: Epoxidation, epoxidized palm oil, oxygen oxirane content, performic acid


The epoxidation process of palm oil was carried out using in situ-generated performic acid. Formic acid acts as an oxygen carrier and hydrogen peroxide acts as an oxygen donor in the reaction system. The epoxidation process was performed using a molecular ratio of 5.91 moles of formic acid to 3.60 moles of hydrogen peroxide, reaction temperature of 40ºC and reaction time of 2.55 hours. The validation of the epoxidized palm oil (EPO) molecular structure was confirmed by Fourier Transformation Infra-Red (FTIR) and proton and carbon Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H-NMR and 13C-NMR) spectroscopy. High conversion (99.43%) of oxirane ring was obtained with 86% (w/w) yield of EPO. The existence of epoxy group was evidenced by FTIR at 843 cm-1, 1H-NMR chemical shift at 2.89 ppm and 13C-NMR at 54.19-57.22 ppm. The physicochemical properties results show that EPO has higher oxidative stability (190ºC), flash point (255ºC) and viscosity index (133), which make EPO plausible to be used as an industrial fluid.